OPEC Deal Fails Sending Prices Higher

Issue 78

OPEC abandoned its meeting without a deal, tipping the cartel into crisis and leaving the oil market facing tight supplies and rising prices. Brent crude jumped 1.3% to $77.12 a barrel as of 5:42 p.m. in London, the highest since 2018.

Several days of tense talks failed to resolve a bitter dispute between Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The group didn’t agree on a date for its next meeting, according to a statement from OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo.

The most immediate effect of the breakdown is that, unless an agreement can be salvaged, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies won’t increase production for August. That will deprive the global economy of vital extra supplies as demand recovers rapidly from the coronavirus pandemic without a resolution oil prices could soar.

However, the situation is unpredictable and the group could reactivate talks at any moment. With prices up about 50% this year and climbing toward $80 a barrel, the producers’ group may feel extra pressure from consuming countries concerned about rising inflation.
“Oil prices will pop if no deal means current production levels continue,” said Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. “But that’s also not tenable because a price spike actually undermines the interests of the UAE, Russia and Saudi Arabia.”

Source: Bloomberg